Completing the production migrations of multiple SAP systems – in less than 24 hours, with zero defects – was only possible because of our solid partnership with Wharfedale (now Lemongrass). That major success, and others within the Cloud Migration Program, have allowed our ‘journey to the cloud’ to keep moving forward. We recently completed right sizing and detailed optimizations of our SAP infrastructure. The Azure portal provides instant visibility into infrastructure utilization and costs and is helping us identify other continuous improvement opportunities. As those milestones are accomplished, more of Pactiv’s digital transformation roadmap is realized.”
Satyen Mehta, Director of IT Enterprise Systems Cloud Migration Core Team Lead, Pactiv Evergreen
“Delivering the first phase of the ‘Food Service/Food Merchandising SAP Cloud Migration’ project could not have been accomplished without Wharfedale and Lemongrass. Not only did their resources demonstrate a depth of expertise, they repeatedly proved their personal dedication to the engagement’s success. Every team member truly exceeded expectations. During a global pandemic, when time with family and community became critical, their resources sacrificed personal/holiday time to ensure Pactiv Evergreen’s success. When planning our second phase, it was clear we would reach out to Lemongrass/Wharfedale again.”
Jeffrey Elliott, IT PMO Director, Pactiv Evergreen
Pactiv Evergreen Reaches Digital Transformation Milestone with SAP on Azure Transformation
Pactiv Evergreen, a leading manufacturer and distributor of fresh food and beverage packaging, made the strategic decision to migrate its SAP landscape to Microsoft Azure as part of a multi-year Cloud Migration Program (CMP). With its SAP landscape on Azure, Pactiv could reach their digital transformation milestones and realize greater efficiencies in IT spending, improve capital management, and evolve its operations to exceed its strategic goals. For the migration, Pactiv Evergreen sought a system integrator with SAP on Azure expertise to execute the migration within a short downtime window. To help the company execute this project in accordance with its specified requirements, Microsoft proposed Wharfedale Technologies, (subsequently acquired by Lemongrass) as a migration partner. Lemongrass was also brought in by Pactiv as a partner to support the migration.
Pactiv’s legacy SAP infrastructure leveraged various operating systems (OS) and multiple database (DB) types. Some components were running on AIX OS with an Oracle DB, and others were running on the Linux OS with an Oracle or SAP HANA DB. The project scope centered around 14 SAP systems (each having three non-production landscapes, and one for production). For each system, Lemongrass and Wharfedale would design and build ~56 target SAP environments in Azure, as well as migrate 100+ on-premises legacy servers. In addition, Pactiv needed the migration to be conducted over the Christmas holiday and could not exceed a 24-hour window. And only 10-12 hours out of 24 were allotted to Lemongrass and Wharfedale teams for the technical migration.
Pactiv Evergreen was impressed with Wharfedale’s depth of expertise on SAP-to-Azure migrations and challenged the team to resolve its foremost migration requirements: managing migrations holistically and ensuring system downtimes would be minimal. Since Pactiv’s SAP infrastructure was leveraging various operating systems (OS) and multiple database (DB) types, Wharfedale would have to address each legacy scenario for the migration to be successful. Converting the underlying operating systems to Linux and the primary databases to SAP HANA, or ASE/Sybase was also mandatory.
Pactiv Evergreen and Wharfedale aligned to apply proven migration tools/practices focused on all the SAP systems in scope but soon learned the migration of Pactiv’s very large ECC system might become an obstacle. The resolution was to apply a near-zero-downtime approach and utilize set of tools proprietary to Lemongrass. Both Wharfedale and Lemongrass, each with their clear assignments, worked as a cohesive unit within the overall collaboration.
To address the challenge of migrating Pactiv’s SAP systems within a narrow system downtime window, Wharfedale knew securing sufficient bandwidth would be essential. During the Proof of Concept (POC) phase, the team ensured bandwidth testing was conducted. Pactiv’s Network Service engineers measured data transfer speeds, reconfigured wide-area network components, and repeated throughput tests in collaboration with Wharfedale technical oversight.
To mitigate the risk of the ECC migration possibly exceeding the critical 24-hour migration window, Lemongrass tested its unique process/tools during multiple migration simulations in advance. Lemongrass leveraged the QA, Mock1 and Mock2 events. As further mitigation, the partnership outlined a critical path that would include multiple trial opportunities.
After the Proof of Concept, the team learned how to best migrate 14 SAP systems across three separate landscape migration events (i.e., Test, Dev, and QA). Next, the team conducted two mock runs. During Mock 1, it performed downtime optimizations, performance tuning, data validations, and gained the ability to predict migration durations. And during Mock 2, Wharfedale migrated non-transactional production systems in advance, specifically to reduce scope during the December cutover. Doing so allowed the project team to prioritize/sequence the remaining system migrations into two events: all business-critical systems being completed in December 2021, and the balance completed in January 2022. Managing the scope of each event guaranteed technical and testing workloads were completed on schedule.
To avoid functionality issues while converting legacy databases to SAP HANA, Wharfedale completed SAP Code Remediations, which are required prior to Unicode Conversions and ABAP custom code adaptation for SAP HANA. Wharfedale completed this work (the tasks listed below) during the non-production migrations (i.e., test and dev landscapes), then replicated the results via transports to the QA, pre-Prod, and Production environments. The team worked closely with Pactiv’s technical and business teams throughout each phase of the Code Remediation effort, and quickly resolved the issues encountered.
With Azure’s best-in-class SAP cloud infrastructure and Wharfedale’s and Lemongrass’s expertise, Pactiv Evergreen accomplished a critical initiative within its Cloud Migration Program and is already realizing these benefits:
- Azure’s guaranteed 99.9% system uptime
- SAP improved system performance (avg. 30%)
- Faster processing times for transports across SAP landscapes
- SAP architecture improvements (segregated database and application layers)
- The ability to do more infrastructure right-sizing (leading to reduced operational costs)
- Disaster Recovery enabled, leading to better Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO); helping avoid business interruptions, and meet business continuity goals.
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